Dear Sir,

I am glad at least someone at the Daily B knows a bit about the Venezuelan situation. Hugo Chávez is dead, but even without the caudillo fomenting hatred on a daily basis it will be difficult to restore democracy. Mr Ash, albeit somewhat tongue in cheek, hits the nail on the head about the truth of Hugo Chávez (except that he did not stage a coup d'état in 1999 but rather won that first election fair and square - the only one he won like that, by the way) and the myth that he was on track to make the poor rich - but simply ran out of time! - with an excellent propaganda machine that took in the largely uneducated population who lapped up the crass way he dealt with “the rich” (which he and his family and cronies became) and the manner in which he insulted world leaders. Venezuela will need a few generations to get back to the standard of economy and Gross National Product that it used to enjoy. It is incredible how one man, Chávez, managed to completely ruin one of the most advanced countries in Latin America in a mere 14 years. Any election his chosen follower, Nicolas Maduro (manipulated by Cuba) calls will be neither free nor fair. It will be merely a formality designed to legitimize the next dictator, and hopefully lead the internal backbiting among those out to profit from power ultimately to give Chavismo the black name it deserves.

Helen van der Pyl, Calvia - ex-Venezuela.